IHOP has finally revealed the reason behind its seemingly baffling name change.
Last week, IHOP announced it was changing its name to “IHOb,” flipping the “P” for “pancakes” to a “B.” The decision immediately set off waves of speculation over what the “B” could stand for.
On Monday, IHOP officially revealed that the “B” stood for “burgers,” confirming a report from Business Insider’s Matt Weinberger, who spotted signs promoting burgers at a Daly City, California location.
The message behind the IHOb madness is the launch of a new line of “Ultimate Steakburgers,” a seven-burger lineup that includes options like the Big Brunch Burger, the Cowboy BBQ Burger, and the double-decker Mega Monster Burger. For a limited time, the burgers are available at IHOP locations with unlimited fires and a drink starting at $6.99.
In addition to transforming into IHOb on Twitter, the chain’s flagship location has also officially changed its name and signage to celebrate the Ultimate Steakburgers. IHOP is also running a national IHOb ad campaign to promote the Ultimate Steakburgers’ launch.
The change from IHOP to IHOb isn’t going to be a permanent one — the chain said in a press release that it is just “for the time being.” However, IHOb still represents a major shift for the International House of Pancakes.
IHOP, along with its sister brand Applebee’s, are undergoing a revamp as the chains attempt to reengage with diners and bring in more customers. Part of Applebee’s plan to boost traffic is to give customers new options, including options outside of pancakes and breakfast food more generally.
“Everyone knows that IHOP makes world-famous pancakes so we felt like the best way to convince them that we are as serious about our new line of Ultimate Steakburgers as we are about our pancakes, was to change our name to IHOb,” Brad Haley, the chain’s CMO, said in a statement.
In May, during parent company Dine Brands’ call with analysts, executives highlighted a new emphasis on menu innovation as a strategy to boost traffic. IHOP has long been known primarily for its pancakes, which can create issues for the chain when it is trying to compete with chains known for greater menu variety.
While IHOP is best known for its breakfast food, the chain is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
In his scoop about what IHOb actually meant, Weinberger writes of his hesitation to actually try the burgers, revealing why IHOP might want to change its name to IHOb, at least temporarily.
“In case you were wondering, I didn’t get one of the new burgers,” he writes. “I’ve spent my entire life silently judging people who don’t order pancakes at IHOP, and I don’t intend to stop now.”
IHOP — or IHOb’s — goal is to change the minds of people like Weinberger. For the IHOb name change to be a real success, IHOP needs to convince customers to visit more often — and not only when they’re craving pancakes.